Stocks edged down over the week as optimism over an economic rebound was countered by fears of rising interest rates. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the Dow dropped 0.5% for the week. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US edged up 0.2% for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield rose further, ending the week at 1.73%, its highest level since January of last year.
Retail sales fell 3.0% in February, falling more than expected. Industrial production dropped 2.2% ending four straight months of gains. Both industrial production and retail sales were impacted by weather according to economists.
At the conclusion of the Fed’s March meeting they pledged to maintain their easy money policies well into the future and didn’t express concern over the recent increase in interest rates. They also raised their economic outlook, expecting growth of 6.5% in 2021.
Initial jobless claims rose to 770,000 over the past week, though the four week moving average has fallen to near the pandemic low.